Video: Go Violets-Wanted

Brand spanking new track from Brisbane dream-pop darlings Go Violets. Fuck, this is an astonishingly beautiful track. It’s so luscious and there isn’t a moment in the whole thing that doesn’t sound spot-on amazing. Despite traversing the same old road as the majority of the other dream-pop bands of broken romance, Go Violets outdo their contemporaries Blouse and Best Coast, and are absolutely killing it on ‘Wanted’.

Go Violets are playing September 14 at Good God, with SURES. I guarantee this is going to be one of the better Saturday nights of your year.

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New: Wizard Oz-Bad Dreams (TV Colours Cover)

I got into Melbourne dream-pop weirdo’s Wizard Oz a while ago on the release of their album “Flashing Lights’ (you can grab it for the price of happiness right here). Well, they’ve recently done a cover of one of my favourite bands of the moment, TV Colours, of the song ‘Bad Dreams’. Whilst the original is pretty intense and slides right into the listeners conscious with force (listen to it here), the Wizard Oz cover is relaxing and soothing. The cover provides is the Alice in Wonderland version to the originals Lethal Weapon, colourful and happy, rather than bleak and honest. All round, this is just a fantastic cover. Eat your heart out, Like A Version.

Album Review: SMILE-Life Choices

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Until yesterday, I had never heard of SMILE. Never. Not in a million years. Hell, I didn’t even know what they were named after. What the fuck is a smile? Is that some kind of dinosaur? It seems to be the kind of concept corrupted with positive vibes. It gives me shivers down my Scrooge-like spine just thinking about that. Smile…huh, what a lame name. With more than an inkling of cynicism permeating my close-minded brain, I clicked the little orange play button on that totally mainstream Internet thing called Soundcloud. My permanently smudged scowl was already prepared for disappointment. 

The first track, ‘Still Waiting for My Man’ disappointed me greatly. It disappointed me that it did not disappoint me, but rather the opposite. It was fucking amazing (haha, tricked you, what a prankster art thee!). The ‘ba-ba-bum’s’ and lingering, fishing line guitar recalled the shit out of The Go-Betweens in the best way possible. But SMILE go past being some sort of shitty tribute act, chucking in some of that updated modern slacker-pop spirit that the Go-Betweens didn’t know about back in the day. The constant motif of Sebastian is just a damn cool little hook, and it’ll put a wry little non-frown on your face, no matter what kind of shit the world threw your way today. The washing machine sounds at the end are fucking mint as well.

The rest of the album is a fairly engaging and laid-back affair. There’s memories to be made on ‘Life Choices’, but they’ll be made at their own pace. If there was ever an embodiment of that spirit, it comes out clear and loud in the third track ‘Pascoe Vale’ and album closer ‘Luxury Joint’. Whilst there are tastier tracks on the album (how could you go past ‘Stoned (Get These Fucking Flies Off My Fucking Face/Shut Up And Take My Money’, that thing’s gorgeous), these two songs are true  reflections of what makes a great band great. Allow me to elaborate…

Pascoe Vale’ is simply stunning. It starts ultra dream-pop, not in a glittery Portland way, but with true Aussie grit. Now that’s how you make a fucking statement. You take a genre, tear out its insides and transform it into a pelt that you can take with you on your six month pilgrimage of Mount Kosciuszko (apparently that’s a big mountain or some shit). The sun-dried vocals should be all logic bore the listener with their dusty delivery, but instead they are enticing as fuck, glorious to the point of mind-boggling and undeniably unique. ‘Pascoe Vale’ builds and builds in its own subtle way until its cascading into a fully layered destination of existential welcoming. Although that all sounds like total bullshit, just take a listen and see if you don’t feel at least a little weird and tangled up after that guitar solo. 

‘Luxury Joint’ shows a completely different side to the band, but one just as excellent. This song is a drawn out, pained affair, the music oozing an understood sadness. This is the kind of sadness displays regret for previous fuck ups, but managed to face the harshest of consequences all the same. ‘Luxury Joint’ is the kind of song that you want to, need to, absolutely must play when you’ve fucked up beyond repair. It’s beautiful in an open and honest way, and that is something you really don’t hear everyday. 

I’m not going to pretend that I understand how SMILE work, how they make the sounds that they do. I’m not a musician. I failed my 4th Grade cello exam for fuck’s sake. But I do know that SMILE are an amazing band, as precious a find to the adolescent and young ‘un as Belle and Sebastian. I’m actually feel fortunate that this band got in contact with me. All I can say is that this album is as integral to your collection as ‘Nevermind’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

You can grab the album digitally or on vinyl (buy the vinyl) at Bandcamp right here. The album came out today, which is incredibly conveniant. The band are playing 26th October at Brighton Up Bar. Go to that show or face my wrath!

New: Sweet Nothings-Bad Boyfriend

This is a brand new project from some of the peeps behind local badassery incarnate Bang! Bang! Rock n Roll. However, instead of adopting the thrash, gash and pash of their old project, Katie and JC are slowing down and expanding  their sound,  blowing my mind in the process. Distorted shivers of guitar ooze over the vocals, smothering the listener in total oblivion. ‘Bad Boyfriend’ is nothing like the Garbage track of the same name (other than they both have female vocals), this brand new track is way fucking better, it will immerse itself under your skin like the infectious bug of dark shoegaze it is.

You can grab this track, as well as another from Sweet Nothings Triple J Unearthed Page right here.

Video: Blouse-A Feeling Like This

Completely beautiful and lush is the comparison I will draw to Blouse’s new track. I adored the first album from the band, but this brand new track exceeds the majority of what was on that album by quite a fair bit. That’s not derogatory to the debut, but a potent exclamation of excitement for ‘A Feeling Like This’. All the simplistic angles of the track run along on their separate ways, occasionally intertwining like strands of DNA. However, it’s the vocals that stand out on this song, the Kim Gordon meets Karen O voice of Charlie Hilton seducing the listener with pouted-lip power.

Hollydaze-I’ll Show You (How To Get There)

Put all your ambitions aside and cry yourself to sleep tonight. There’s a girl out there that is better at music than you will be at anything in your life. She’s from Sydney, and besides having the tiny output of just three songs, every single one of them is better than everything on the new Arcade Fire, or at least I assume it will be. With drips of Beach Fossils, Craft Spells, Thieves Like Us…generally the whole Captured Tracks sound….running through her music, this shit is essential listening for fans of dream-pop. The ‘…but I’m miles away…’ faraway chorus would never be out of place on a Beach House track, and the whole thing generally reeks of a proficient protege. Fuck the HSC, Hollydaze is going to be the next Snakadaktal/Owl Eyes/Melody’s Echo Chamber etc.

Video: Day Ravies-I Don’t Mind

If you’ve never heard of Day Ravies before, then I’ll give it a second, so you can quietly chuckle to yourself at the punny name. Done? Kewl, let’s focus on their brand new song. You might have heard their last single ‘Double Act’ bantered around on FBI last year a bit, but this isn’t some kind of one trick MC Hammer schtick. No, these Sydney chumps are in it for the long run, and they prove it in the lovely ‘I Don’t Mind’ the newest single for their upcoming LP ‘Tussle’. Personally, I think tussle (verb, a synonym for fighting or engaging in semi-violent shenanigans) seems to be a bit wanton in describing the effortless shoegaze-pop that Day Ravies transpire, but hey, I’m not the one signed to Popfrenzy.

The video for this is perfect. A hazy, VHS acid trip of band members doing nothing and somehow coming off way beautiful. Like taking off your glasses, taking a weird pill that homeless guy down the street sold you and suddenly that girl at the bar that was a 7 is suddenly a 10. That’s ‘I Don’t Mind’, except the song is the girl, the pill is the video, and the homeless guy is Day Ravies’ bassist/vocalist/video director Caroline de Dear. I guess that means…I’m the spectacles? I don’t know the simile was fucked from the start. Just watch the video.

Major Leagues-Endless Drain (free download)

If you’re any sort of fan of Best Coast, or that chilled out, dreamy female led guitar pop, then Major League’s new single ‘Endless Drain’ is for you. Sugarcoated in turpentine, it’s a cruisy indie-pop track that goes bang when you want it to go pop, because fuck your feelings. It’s seriously infectious, like how a chameleon’s smile is infectious. You can nab it for no money on their Triple J Unearthed page, along with the awesome ‘Teen Mums’ and ‘Creeper’.

Twin Peaks-Irene

This is a cut off the upcoming album from a Chicago band called Twin Peaks. Chicago has one of the best music scenes in the world right now, from the stable of acts at Hozac Records to alternative stalwarts The Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco and The Jesus Lizard and evidently a band that fucking loves David Lynch. They wouldn’t be the first, as there’s an awesome band from Radelaide on Bedroom Suck called Peak Twins, but that’s besides the point. This American band brings the fucking thunder, in the most subdued form of the cliche. Instead of the testosterone fuelled, thinly-vieled sports homo-erotica that usually accompanies that phrase, Twin Peaks channel their inner dream-pop enchantment for a beautiful, rolling track that everyone that exists needs to check out. 

Video: Summer Twins-Forget Me

You can’t get much more quaintly LA than Summer Twins. With a sound that I’m sure is all the envy of Best Coast and Beach House, they simmer with unrequited dream-pop beauty. Basic snare/hi hat combo, a glassy guitar riff and dripping female vocals all combine for an sunshine-laden track.’Forget Me’ also has a damn cool video, the girls lazing about with arts and crafts in an all white hell. Channelling an Alice in Wonderland colour scheme? Perhaps. Awesome? Definitely.